Cornish Pirates wing Matt Evans had the perfect start to the new RFU Championship season last Saturday by running in a hat-trick of tries as his side won at Jersey, inflicting only the hosts' second defeat at home in three years.
The Pirates were solid in attack and defence throughout as they withstood a ferocious physical challenge from Ben Harvey's newly promoted side, and the Canada international pounced after 40, 44 and 80 minutes to get his team off to a flyer with a 20-6 win on their trip to the Channel Islands.
Only a winning bonus point for a fourth try was missing from the display and, after the Pirates wasted several good chances to secure that, Evans accepted that the Cornish side still have much work to do this season.
"We will not get over-confident in any way. We just have to grind out the season, and although this win gives us a good platform there are lots of things to work on and everyone is ready to do that," he said.
He accepted that the hard-fought win was a just reward for an afternoon of hard work and good preparation.
"We gave them a lot of respect in the build-up to this game and they did themselves proud because this is a hard place to come to, just like the Mennaye," Evans explained. "But we had a game plan we wanted to stick to, and we did that well.
"We weathered the 20-minute storm which we fully expected, got stronger and then regrouped at half-time.
"We didn't start the second half so well but we got back on track and, from the perspective of it being the first game of the season, built a sound platform to work on for the rest of the season."
Evans was keen to play down his own role in the game, despite his three touchdowns and the award of the man-of-the-match champagne from the Jersey club.
Evans also scored a hat-trick in pre-season against Loughborough Students last month, but modestly claimed that scoring his tries last Saturday was the easy part.
"I'd love it to become a theme but they were all team tries, really, there was nothing really individual there," Evans admitted.
Evans also gave some insight into two factors which are currently helping him and the team to achieve their objectives on the pitch – head coach Ian Davies and fly-half Kieran Hallett.
Evans explained: "I think as a squad we are all starting to buy into what Ian [Davies] is building with heads-up rugby. Sometimes we get a little bit lost, but that will come with time."
"The way we play now means that we are a bit more expansive in the attacking zones, which bodes well for me as a winger, so hopefully it will continue."
And, of Hallett, he added: "Kieran has really come into his own in the last couple of weeks and his knowledge and old head, even though he is young, helped us out a few times in Jersey.
"There were a couple of times where we got pinned on our own ten-metre line and he put in lovely kicks to take the pressure off, which is what you want from your ten."